It seems that the popular navigation app from Google, Waze, tries to eliminate one of the biggest problems its users reported. Many of them encountered issues with the digital maps they were relying on while they were in tunnels, because the GPS signal kept disappearing there.
So what is their solution for this? Apparently they plan to install some Bluetooth beacons that will direct signal to the tablets or smartphones found in tunnels. They will be low cost and battery-powered and, most importantly, they will be able to sustain map connections.
However, this means that you will have to turn on Bluetooth signal whenever you enter a tunnel.
This new strategy will be tested when the developers will install beacons in two tunnels in Pittsburgh, namely Liberty and Fort Pitt. Another one will also be installed in Israel, which is the place where the app was initially developed before Google came by and paid $969 million for it back in 2013.
Waze should now convince government agencies, which are tunnel operators, to buy and install their beacons. If they agree, they should pay around $1,200 for 42 pieces that will cover every mile in the tunnel. Each of the beacons is guaranteed to work 4 years from the moment of installation.
The company also has plans of installing other beacons in Paris and Rio de Janeiro too. However, they do not have a long-term plan or an estimation of how long it will take them to ensure all the tunnels with signal that is necessary for the GPS.
The good side on this idea is the fact that the signal is not encrypted, and this means that other services sustained by Apple or Google can use it too. The one who came with this great idea is a system operation engineer called Gil Disatnik. He lost his signal in a tunnel and missed the turn for the airport, so he came up with this solution.